5 Tips To Help Write Your First Draft

By on February 21, 2020

Writing the first draft of your novel is exciting, but it can also feel pretty daunting. The unfortunate truth is that most people who attempt to write a novel never manage to get it finished. However, you can give yourself a much better chance of success if you prepare yourself properly.

If you need some help writing your first draft, here are some useful tips to follow:

Find your comfort zone

In order to write well, you need to find the best methods to suit your style. Some writers are incredibly specific about the way they write and follow processes methodically and carefully to ensure that they continue to produce consistent work. Other writers prefer to be more carefree. It is, however, a good idea to try to experiment with different writing methods and processes to better understand yourself as a writer, and what makes you feel most at ease - this will help you in the long run. You might wish to consider where you like to write when you like to write, whether you enjoy editing as you go and so on. 

Be creative when it comes to idea generation

Don’t hold back on your creativity or imagination at this early stage, and don’t block yourself or allow your self-concern to get in the way of your creative expression. You should adopt a mentality of ‘no idea is a bad idea’ and 

Be realistic with your expectations

Writing a book is tough, and you will suffer setbacks and there will be days where you really, truly can’t be bothered to write. You have to be realistic with yourself, expect and make room for changes and delays and days where you hat your writing, but have the perseverance and determination to keep going regardless. 

Draft with purpose

Have a focus to your first draft to help make the process easier. You aren’t going to get everything right in your first draft, far from it. However, what you can hope for if you focus on particular aspects of your book is to come out with something of value at the end. Anything from getting one particular character's story arc pinpointed to feeling confident about your setting can mean your work hasn’t all been in vain.

Allow mistakes

Your first draft will not be your best work, so don’t painstakingly try to make it do. Remember, getting it written is better than getting it right, so focus on getting the story out and on paper, and you can refine and amend and delete later.

Get feedback as soon as you’re able

Useful, constructive feedback from people whose opinion you respect and admire can be absolutely invaluable to the novel-writing process. Writing genius Stephen King recommends you do this sooner rather than later. So when you can bear to face it, make sure you seek someone else’s opinion, you’re sure to be glad that you did.

By following these tips you can feel confident and assured that you will get that first draft of your novel finished - and this is no mean feat. Use the above to guide you and you’ll get that initial draft completed in no time and once you’ve done that, you are so much more likely to end up with a finished novel that you’re proud of!

bethany cadman
Bethany Cadman - bethanycadman.co.uk

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